USS Abraham Lincoln Celebrates Women’s History Month

Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) celebrated Women’s History Month with a celebration aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, March 30.

Command Master Chief Susan Whitman opened the celebration in the hangar bay, describing the important roles women have played throughout naval history and the positive impacts they have made.

Following Whitman’s opening remarks, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Laura Blanco read a poem entitled “More than a Woman.”

“Even here, my strength is needed. Often my maternal instincts are used when I put my Sailors before me; when their needs become my needs, their battles become my battles, and their sorrows become my sorrows,” Blanco read.

Lt. Megan Donnelly, the 2012 Capt. Joy Bright Hancock Leadership Award recipient and guest speaker for the celebration event, said she appreciates the increased number of options for women in the Navy.

“I continue to be thankful and excited for the opportunities the Navy presents to everyone, regardless of gender. The Sailors I am lucky enough to serve with, and the chance to continue to excel, makes everything worth it,” she said.

In the first Gulf War, women represented 15 percent of all naval personnel fighting on the ground. Since then, the repeal of the combat exclusion law allowed women to serve on combatant ships in 1994, and a recent change in policy made it possible for women to serve on submarines for the first time in 2010. More than 54,000 female active duty Sailors and more than 10,000 female Reservists serve in the Navy today.

Lincoln is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Naval Today Staff , April 03, 2012;